Destructive division and disunity among Christians, not least evangelicals, is not merely a 'church matter', says David Coffey. It is a counter-witness which contributes to terrible division and sometimes violence in the world.
According to the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, in evidence to parliament on the Equality Bill 2008-9 "unjust discrimination is fundamentally wrong," notes Simon Sarmiento. But what does the prcatice of the churches tell us about its rhetoric?
Amy Hailwood, who recently returned from a visit to Palestine and Israel with Christian Peacemaker Teams, reflects on her experiences and the difficult choice that many Palestinians make to reject violence - not a passive acceptance of injustice but to work for peace in the face of a relentless attempt to corrode it.
Palestine has been wiped off the map, its land colonized, and its people ethnically cleansed, says Ben White. Expecting those on the receiving end to be satisfied with the crumbs from the table is both unjust – and wishful thinking.
No other democratic nation today imprisons people on such a scale or for as long as the US, Martin E. Marty is reminded. Visiting prisoners is a central test of devotion to the Jesus of the gospels. We are also called to a vision of restoration and release.
Talmudic study opens the door to an understanding of obedience that does not crush the enquiring mind, says Giles Fraser. The text of Scripture, rightly understood, both questions us and affirms our questioning.
Try to imagine a world in which only things acceptable to pure reason are deemed legitimate, suggests Giles Fraser. It would be to imagine the most desperately impoverished cultural and emotional (let alone spiritual) desert.
Cynicism about politicians and political institutions runs very deep, says Terry Waite. But the current crisis is also an opportunity for change, for reinvesting politics with hope and the participation of people from outside 'the party system'.
In recognising the human endurance, perseverance, vision, humility, lack of bitterness and political ability that characterised Nelson Mandela, analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian looks at the response of Palestinians and others from the Middle East and North Africa region to his passing. There are uncomfortable truths to be faced in all this, he suggests.
History was made at the UN climate talks last week – not by the achievement of a breakthrough in negotiations, unfortunately, but by the unprecedented walk-out by 800 civil society groups and trade unions, says Caroline Lucas MP, assessing what has happened and what needs to happen next.